What Are the Types of Bronchodilator Used to Treat COPD?

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A bronchodilator is a type of medication used to relax the air passages to help you breathe better. The medications are typically inhaled through the mouth using a metered dose inhaler (MDI) but are also available in liquid, pill, injectable, or suppository formulations. Bronchodilators are effective to prevent or reduce COPD symptoms. There are three classes of bronchodilators used to treat COPD mostly:
  • Beta-adrenergic agonists: a type of medication that binds to specific receptors in the lung called beta-adrenoceptors. By doing so, they block the trigger to bronchial spasms and allow airway passages to open.
  • Anticholinergics: medications that block a type of neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. Parasympathetic nerves are the primary source of acetylcholine in the lungs. By blocking the production of these substances, the contractions and spasms in the airways are effectively stopped.
  • Methylxanthines: a unique class of drug known to alleviate airflow obstruction, reduce inflammation, and temper bronchial contractions; most appropriate for persons who are unable to achieve adequate control with either beta-agonist or anticholinergic drugs.
Keywords: bronchodilator copd; copd bronchodilator